WATCH | The world's first LGBTQ mariachi band says they're ready to create a space where LGBTQ mariachis can feel safe.
They may be the most colorful mariachi band you've ever seen.
That's because Mariachi Arcoíris de Los Ángeles is the world's first LGBTQ mariachi band.
Comprised of nine members, the California-based band hopes to debunk the "machista" stereotype that usually comes with other mariachi bands.
We caught up with the band while they were playing in West Hollywood, a city known for its gay population.
I needed to have a place within the mariachi world for LGBTQ people to have a safe haven.
"I've gone through bullying and being made fun of," said director of the band Carlos Samaniego. "And frankly, I was over that."
So he started Mariachi Arcoíris de Los Ángeles. "Arcoíris" is Spanish for "rainbow," which has become a symbol for the LGBTQ community around the world.
Carlos Samaniego started the mariachi band to create a place free of bullying for LGBTQ people. Now they're in the Library of Congress for making history.
Mariachi is a form of musical expression that originated in Mexico and dates back to the 18th century.
It's known for its all-male ensembles and macho culture.
Mariachi Arcoíris prides itself on being everything but.
Natalia Melendez says she's the world's first openly trans mariachi woman, as far as she knows.
It's comprised of nine members, hailing from all over California and even Mexico.
Mariachi Arcoíris de Los Ángeles, which started in 2014, hopes to keep providing a safe haven for LGBTQ artists around the world and will be playing at Pride events throughout the country.